Panel recommendations

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May 6, 2022

150 KANATA AVENUE | Formal Review | Zoning By-law Amendment and Site Plan Control Application | EMD – Batimo Group; P H Robinson Consulting; Rossmann Architecture; James B. Lennox & Associates Inc.

Summary

  • The Panel appreciates the improvements made to the proposal, including the driveway connectivity, which responds positively to the adjacent development.
  • The Panel is cognizant of the site's challenges and recognizes the project's urban aspirations. However, there are still significant concerns with the grading and the building's relationship to the sidewalk and the street. From an accessibility perspective, the grade differential issue needs to be addressed, given that the grade change creates a barrier between the public sidewalk and makes the development feel disconnected from the public realm.
  • The Panel provided recommendations on how to break up the long façade and to address the corner expression for a more urban appearance.

Architectural Expression

  • The Panel notes the building appears co-planar at the base, middle and top, and the colour blocking of the upper levels is less successful at articulating the massing. Furthermore, the upper brick and wood grain treatment does not create a clear datum line, and the upper balcony treatment detracts from the street wall expression. The proponent should consider recessing the balconies and breaking the long wing with a reveal.
  • The entrances could be highlighted by introducing pedestrian scale elements such as canopies to signal the location of the building's residential lobby.
  • The Panel appreciates the proponent's efforts to work with the adjacent property owner to create a unified public realm; however, concerns remain with the grade differential between the public sidewalk and the ground level that results in a ramped entry condition that limits the usable pedestrian space.
  • The Panel recommends that the proponent re-examine the corner treatment at the intersection and, instead of a wrap-around condition, explore a two-building approach.
  • The Panel believes the building would improve significantly if the east corner were more prominent. The proponent should consider an L-shape expression instead of a 45-degree angle or a taller middle section. Alternatively, the building could be broken into two separate masses to open up the views to the north and provide access to the amenities at the rear and the natural landscape beyond.

Grading

  • The Panel appreciates the changes made at the east corner, but new challenges have emerged as a result, including internal building circulation. Although more blasting will be required to have the building brought down to grade, the proponent should lower the ground floor to street level creating a more urban condition.
  • The canopy, signage, and the finer grain detailing are appreciated, but the Panel believes the retail's success depends on the building being at street level.
  • The residential lobby entrance at the parking garage level should be reconsidered, given that the sunken entrance creates more challenges than it solves.

Site Plan and Internal Layout

  • The Panel finds the interior layout of the building confusing in that the entrance on the corner leads to the parking garage. Connections to the Lobby along Kanata Avenue should be improved.
  • The Panel questions the at-grade rear parking lot layout as it is unclear how deliveries and moving trucks would circulate. The proponent should consider moving some of the at-grade parking underground to free up space for a private outdoor amenity area. Additionally, there is a concern with the parking ramp for Phase 1, which should be reconsidered.
  • The proponent should consider removing the first band of double-loaded driveways on P1 on Kanata Avenue and replacing it with liner retail at the street level. The loss of parking spaces can be relocated by adding another level of underground level parking in Phase 2.
  • It was suggested the proponent revise the stairs on the north side as there may be some building code issues.

Public Realm

  • The Panel has significant concerns with the building's relationship to the street, given the change in grade, which does not benefit the proposal. The proponent should consider lowering the building down to the grade of the surrounding sidewalks, thereby reducing the slope on the east corner for a building to create a more urban feel.
  • The Panel believes the landscaped plaza at the corner, accessing the residential entrance at the basement level, is problematic as the resulting sloped landscape on either side creates a more suburban entry condition rather than an urban plaza.
  • The number of parking spaces at the rear of the site impacts the site's porosity and interferes with connectivity to the natural landscape to the north. The Panel recommends the proponent reduce the number of parking spaces, relocate them underground, and implement a woonerf or a layby lane for drop-off, which would be more appropriate.
  • The proponent should consider streetscape lighting, bus stops, pedestrian lights, and bollards for a more urbanized public realm.
  • There is an opportunity to bring elements of the Canadian Shield, such as rocks and pines, into the site as part of Kanata's natural landscape.

2 ROBINSON AVENUE (320 LEES AVENUE) | Formal Review | Site Plan Control Application | 2 Robinson Property Partnership; rla / architecture; Fotenn Planning + Design

Summary

  • The Panel thanked the proponent for the presentation and the changes made as the project is evolving positively. The overall disposition of the built form is appreciated, and the proposed path system is a great addition to the community.
  • The Panel considers it beneficial for the development to return for a subcommittee meeting or for the proponent to develop design guidelines to inform the site plan design, including parking configuration and relationship to the podium and establish the future development phases, as it is important to consider how the development would evolve.

Massing and Architectural Expression

  • The Panel appreciates the simplicity of the podium and tower; the revisions made provide a clearer massing that opens the sky views and generally provides more light. The strong datum and small breaks in the podium where the towers come down to meet the grade are also appreciated.
  • The Panel believes the project would benefit from further study of the streets and podium designs. The proponent should consider designing the buildings as pairs (Buildings A and D, and Buildings B and C) to address the sameness of the towers.
  • The proponent should consider reducing the floor plate sizes to 750 square metres.
  • The Panel appreciates the disposition of the balconies, but the continuous balconies contribute to the heaviness of the towers.
  • More clarity is needed for the podium between Tower B and C, as the ground floor level appears squat.
  • The proponent should consider addressing the slab-like nature of the podiums by staggering them and introducing some variation in heights, step backs, and edge treatments.
  • There was a suggestion to have some height variation on the towers and podiums, make the six-storey podiums of Tower A and B eight storeys and make Tower A the tallest tower and for Tower C to be 28 storeys. Subsequent to the meeting, it was explained that the zoning by-law would not permit an increase in height.

Public Realm and Landscaping

  • The Panel believes more consideration should be given to the public realm. Given the size of the site and its porosity, the development would benefit from a phased master plan approach and guidelines that would create a vocabulary to inform the landscape configuration and treatment as the landscape concept appears to be more picturesque in approach and is disconnected from the modernist architectural concept presented.
  • The proponent should consider how the site will integrate with the community and how people will relate to the public realm and street life.
  • The Panel appreciates the disposition of the amenity areas and retail units that animate the courtyard south of Parcel A, but eliminating the service corridor and providing a through unit that could spill out into the courtyard would contribute to a livelier open space.
  • There is an opportunity for the east-west fire route to connect the courtyards and has more of a street feel. The proponent should consider removing the parking spaces from the turnaround and changing the parking layout.
  • The proponent should consider angling the service driveway at a right angle to Lees Avenue and moving the sidewalk along the fence to avoid breaking it up and to be more legible.
  • There was a suggestion to reorient the townhomes to face the park to provide eyes on the street and implement public art to create a sense of place.
  • More opportunities for LIDs, vegetation, and noise reduction should be considered to improve sustainability.

Materiality

  • The Panel appreciates the use of wood colouring at the base and cautions of the use of too many dark colours, as the dark colour on the punch windows make the building appear heavy. The proponent should consider restricting the use of the dark elements to narrow faces only.
  • The towers generally get lighter towards the top with the exception of the mechanical penthouse, which has a darker grey coloration. The proponent should reconsider the grey coloration as the preference is for the towers to fade into the sky.
  • The Panel has some reservations regarding the performance of the wood metal finishing on the podium as it does not appear authentic; a more robust natural material is preferred.

229-247 BEECHWOOD AVENUE | Formal Review | Site Plan Control Application and Heritage Permit | Smart Living Properties Inc.; Woodman Architect & Assoc. Ltd.; James B. Lennox & Assoc. Inc.; Novatech

John Stewart has declared a conflict of interest and has recused himself from commenting on this file.

Summary

  • The Panel thanked the proponent for the presentation. The building is well designed, and the changes made to the proposal are appreciated, but the Panel believes the building should knit better with the neighbourhood and be more sensitive to its surroundings, given that the most important aspect to consider is the ability of the development to knit into the context of the Rockcliffe Heritage Conservation District.
  • The Panel strongly recommends rethinking the sunken entrance and improving the pedestrian condition as there is an opportunity to create a finer grained landscape that reflects the gardens in the neighbourhood.

Architectural Expression

  • The Panel believes the sunken lower level detracts from the neighbourhood's fabric, and some portions of the building, such as the balconies, have a commercial appearance.
  • The proponent should consider introducing elements on the façades that evoke a similar vocabulary to those in the neighbourhood, including porches and bay windows, in order for the buildings to better integrate with the context and reflect the residential scale and vertical rhythm of the street.
  • The Panel recommends providing an additional setback on the east and west sides of the buildings to provide more breathing room to the adjacent properties.
  • The proponent should consider removing the balconies or recessing the balconies and expressing them as insets or Juliettes, to quiet the facade. A picket rail guard should also be explored to relate to the heritage neighbourhood context.
  • The proponent should consider providing street access to the ground floor units.
  • The proponent should reconsider the lower level entry conditions as they are creating additional cuts through the landscape, causing a fragmentation of the streetscape treatment.

Materiality

  • The Panel appreciates the use of brick and stone as these materials create some rhythm on the façade and reduce its commercial appearance; however, the fine-grained rhythm and articulation, required by the heritage conservation district, needs to be strengthened.
  • The top floor step back is minimal, and the horizontal articulation does not benefit the building's aesthetics. The proponent should consider a further step back and the use lighter materials to establish a stronger third storey datum.
  • The Panel notes the grey element at the corner appears co-planar; furthermore, the use of dark colours does not appear to be typical of the heritage district. The proponent should consider simpler materials, including the use of brick at the corner, and a colour palette that would better suit the neighbourhood's character.

Public Realm and Landscape

  • The Panel believes the proposed terracing is out of context given that the building is set back further from the street than the adjacent houses and is a different scale. The proponent should consider adding more vegetation and introducing trees on the terraces, such as cherry blossoms or magnolias. The landscape treatment should integrate with the adjacent properties to reinforce the continuous garden streetscapes of this heritage neighbourhood.
  • The proponent should consider all of the elements of the public realm to reinforce a main street concept, including street lighting, bollards and street trees to screen the buildings from the street.
  • The Panel believes that reducing the number of curb cuts and utilizing the street at the side for access would create a more robust and contiguous landscape.

Sustainability

  • The proponent should consider implementing green roofs, LID’s, reducing the number of balconies to mitigate thermal bridging and introducing permeable pavers to reduce storm water runoff.

455 COVENTRY ROAD | Formal Review | Zoning By-law Amendment | Figurr Architects Collective; Novatech

Summary

  • The Panel is concerned with the replicability of the proposal. Given the lack of context and the preliminary nature of the proposal, the Panel struggled to provide detailed comments and visualize how the public realm would evolve.
  • The Panel recommends developing a master plan or design guidelines to ensure the site integrates well with the surrounding context and creates a liveable open space. More studies are needed to understand the future context of the neighbourhood, and further thought should be given to the building's relationship to the pedestrian realm.

Context

  • The proponent should calculate the FSI on site and apply the same density on adjacent sites to understand the appropriateness of four towers, the proposal's viability, and address the question of replicability as the current modelling does not show the true potential of the surrounding parcels.
  • A more detailed design is needed to determine phasing, timing, and the site's appropriate density. The proponent should study how the site connects to the neighbourhood and how the proposal would impact the adjacent site.

Massing and Scale

  • The Panel notes that more studies are required as there are questions regarding the overall massing for buildings D and B. A three-tower site is more appropriate than a four-tower site, given that a four-building site will appear to be overbuilt.
  • The Panel recommends the proponent study the sky views and further analyze how the towers would be experienced at the pedestrian level as a long façade on Coventry Road might not be appropriate.
  • The Panel believes the lack of a landscape plan and the amount of parking at grade makes it difficult to assess the scale of the site. Allocating 10 percent of the land for parkland would aid in visualizing the scale of the site.

Site Layout

  • The Panel recommends the proponent study the context and how the site's connectivity to the park and the neighbourhood will evolve. At this stage of the development process, the Panel recommends a simple building typology to determine the best location for an open space based on shadow studies.
  • Should the proposed density be permitted, more consideration to the open space should be given. The proponent should study the public realm to understand the benefits of setting back the building to create a relationship with the street and potentially transforming the access road into a mainstreet.
  • Further consideration should be given to the at-grade parking layout as parking for the retail component is yet to be determined.

The proponent should consider providing an access road to the piazza to open up the views and allow the sun to seep through.

April 1, 2022

120 Den Haag Drive (800 Montreal Road) | Formal Review | Zoning By-law Amendment and Site Plan Control Application | Groupe Sovima; NEUF Architect(e)s; Lashley + Associates Corporation

Summary

  • The Panel supports the project and considers the building a positive addition to the neighbourhood, but the Panel believes further refinements to the building are needed to create a more simplified façade and clearly defined base, middle and top.
  • The public realm needs further refinement; the proponent should continue integrating the interior courtyard with the adjacent park and treat the retaining wall as part of the landscape rather than an extension of the building.

Architectural Expression

  • The Panel has concerns with the street facing projected balconies, especially at the corner, making the building feel top-heavy. The proponent should consider in-setting the balconies at the corner and explore recessing or integrating all of the street facing balconies to strengthen the project as a street wall building.
  • The Panel notes the base and top floor treatment have created a corner expression that provides an opportunity to use a different architectural treatment to create a corner expression that will help connect the base, middle and top.
  • The Panel recommends further refinement of the façade by removing the columns at the corner and creating a cantilever expression to simplify the base.
  • The proponent should examine the end façades to emphasize the breaks and shifting volumes that serve to slender the façades.

Materiality

  • The Panel believes the building should be simplified as the base and top have different patterns of glazing and mullions, making the top appear taller.
  • The contrast of dark masonry at the base with the red brick middle portion needs further study. The changes in materiality appear co-planar, and the dark brick between the windows does not successfully add depth or articulation.
  • The proponent should consider using contrasting colours to make the top lighter, establish a clear and consistent datum line where the material changes to glass and simplify the two-storey base.
  • The Panel appreciates the use of red brick and cautions that the white metal that currently extends to grade will be difficult to maintain; a material with greater durability and permanence (such as stone or precast) may be considered.
  • There was a suggestion to study the south perspective to understand whether the framing of the lower level is successful at grounding the elevation and if the dark portion is the appropriate height.
  • The proponent should consider introducing green roofs and using limestone materials to improve the site's sustainability.

Public Realm and Landscape

  • The Panel recommends curving or terracing the retaining wall and using stone materials to create a distinct element that will be part of the landscape rather than an extension of the building. Furthermore, the Panel recommends the use of evergreen shrubs that are suited for Ottawa's climate and will provide year-round greenery.
  • The Panel recommends seamlessly integrating the interior courtyard with the park.

1047 Richmond Road | Formal Review | Official Plan and Zoning By-law Amendment | FENGATE Asset Management; IBI Group; Fotenn Planning + Design

Summary

  • The Panel thanked the proponent for the presentation; the building's design is refined and elegant. The flush balconies and the fine grain use of materials are appreciated, but the Panel would like to see scaled elements relating to the immediate surroundings and the neighbourhood.
  • The Panel is concerned by the amount of development proposed on this site and considered that a two-tower development may be more appropriate.
  • The Panel is also concerned that the proposal requires more studies to ensure the buildings will knit well with the picturesque landscape and the existing pattern of development of single-family dwellings.
  • The Panel is supportive of the architectural development at this stage and looks forward to a more refined design at the Site Plan Control Stage.

Context

  • The overall massing and the relationship with the residential neighbourhood are a concern; the consensus is that a two-tower approach would be more appropriate as three towers, seen from afar, will create a walled effect. The Panel believes that more detailed studies are required to understand the context and inform the relationship of the towers with the broader landscape, ensuring the towers do not create a barrier between the residential neighbourhood and the views of the river.
  • The Panel notes the building’s aspirations are urban and suggests the proponent take a step back and study the potential developability of adjoining parcels with the same density level, to inform the replicability of the development.
  • The Panel recognizes that Richmond Road is an area in transition; however, the development needs to be sensitive to its surroundings as it is located within a well-established single-family residential area. The Panel believes that additional studies are needed to justify the density proposed on this site, given that the proposed architecture is informed by planning assumptions for a high-density proposal.
  • A 45-degree angular plane study and a tertiary plan would be beneficial to understand and better integrate the development with the neighbourhood, the public realm, and the future context.
  • The proponent should consider implementing a greater setback on Richmond Road to separate the high-rise buildings and the low-rise residential neighbourhood to the south.

Massing

  • The Panel believes that shadow impacts, void spaces, and a more generous streetscape, should be studied before defining the location and orientation of the podium. Additionally, varying heights for the podium should be considered to provide sunlight into the courtyard.
  • The current tower layout creates a wall along Richmond Road. The proponent should consider a more slender building footprint to determine the separation distance between towers and the tower distribution. Some panel members commented that the site could accommodate two towers but questions the third tower.
  • The Panel recommends the proponent study and explore an east-west mid-block connection to improve the porosity of the site.
  • Consider placing Tower C in a north-south orientation to provide all units with views of the river and remove Tower B to open the site to the river and allow for sky views between the towers.

Public Realm

  • The Panel appreciates the proposed park at the corner, but the Panel believes the area is too small for a park and too big as an urban forecourt. The Panel recommends stepping back the towers to provide a more generous setback on Richmond Road and New Orchard Avenue and to increase the park's area.
  • The proponent should consider framing the park with commercial uses, restaurants, and cafes to make it a focal point and consider masonry elements to tie the park to the building.
  • The proponent should explore introducing some of the landscape vocabularies of the surrounding landscape into the proposal.
  • The proponent should explore physically connecting the site with the river landscape by extending the courtyard with a more generous public realm along the street edge, to the open space to the north.
  • There is an opportunity to create a signalized intersection for a more pedestrian-friendly access to the LRT station.

Sustainability

  • The Panel considers the sustainability statement a good first step, but the proponent should consider elements of sustainability such as stormwater management and energy efficiency that can be brought to the site.
  • The proponent should study the wind and shadow impacts of the development on the surrounding neighbourhood.

70 Nicholas Street | Formal Review | Zoning By-law Amendment and Site Plan Control Application | CF Cadillac Fairview; zeidler; NEUF Architect(e)s; Barry Padolsky Associates Inc.; Commonwealth; Fotenn Planning + Design; CSW

John Stewart has declared a conflict of interest and has recused himself from commenting on this file.

Summary

  • The Panel thanked the proponent for the presentation. The high degree of design and the team's response to the Panel's previous comments are generally appreciated however one panel member prefers the previous massing which had a jog between the two wings as opposed to angling two wings.
  • The majority of the Panel generally supports the canted section of the building, and the architectural treatment is supported, including the glazing; however, there are mixed views regarding the projected balconies. There is a concern that projecting balconies will compromise the building's clean aesthetic.
  • The Panel appreciates the changes made to the public realm and understands that underground servicing poses a constraint; however, the Panel believes the public realm should continue to evolve as the streetscape lacks a coherent vision.

Architectural Expression

  • The Panel appreciates the goals and aspirations of the proposal with the high-rise building as a backdrop to the Registry Building; the site's jewel.
  • The canting of the building is generally supported by the majority of the panel members as it defines the public space in front of the building and partially screens the bridge structure and loading area. The canted wing’s architectural expression should be expressed differently to distinguish between the two volumes. The condominium building on Edward Street in Toronto was cited as an example where different cladding materials visually separate the two large volumes.
  • There is an opportunity to break up the tower massing by recessing the hinge element and wrapping the top of the northern volume to create a distinction between the two tower volumes on either side. Additionally, relocating the elevators to the hinge point will create an opportunity to open the views from the elevator lobbies.
  • There was a suggestion to break up the north end façade in a similar manner as the southern facade to reduce the perceived bulk of the building.
  • Insetting the balconies would create a more simplified expression.
  • The Panel recommends recessing the residential entrance and reducing the size of the canopy and refining the retail entrance canopy to provide more subdued signage for the Rideau Centre that doesn’t compete with the heritage building.
  • The base of the tower should be recessed further to create the effect of it disappearing behind the Registry Building and not competing with it.
  • One suggestion was to explore aligning the brick façade of the north canted section parallel with the street with a reveal in the two to give the impression of two pavilions, one with the heritage building and another framed parallel to the Ottawa Jail Hostel across the street.

Heritage Building

  • The Panel appreciates the expansion of the space between the Registry Building and the lobby. However, the Panel believes the heritage building still feels a bit pinched due to its proximity with the drop-off area. Shifting the Registry building further north would provide more breathing room and create a formal garden around it.
  • The treatment of the tower façade at the Registry Building should be as glassy as possible. The proponent should consider removing the mullions and instead exploring an aluminum silicone frame or aluminum spider joints to create a seamless transition between the interior and exterior.

Materiality

  • The Panel appreciates the revision of the base and study of patterns, rhythm, and abstraction of elements on the Registry building. The building's simplicity relies on the execution of simple details in balcony guards and dividers. The proponent should study the fritted glass balconies to ensure a clean aesthetic is maintained.
  • The masonry mimicking of the Registry building's colour and proportions might not be as successful as desired; the design expression should be as simple and quiet as possible. The proponent should explore aligning the datum line from the north wing above the Registry building and continuing it across the podium to the south. The use of the same glass pattering will ensure that the Registry Building is seen against a glass backdrop from different angles.

Public Realm and Landscaping

  • The Panel believes a comprehensive landscape plan is needed. The small green spaces around the Registry Building need to be rethought, and the vegetation next to the walkway creates a barrier rather than opening up the area to create a plaza. Similarly, the tree next to the heritage building looks out of place.
  • The proponent should consider expanding the green area around the Registry Building to create a condition similar to the way in which the building was previously situated.
  • The Panel appreciates the proposed dog park, and there is general support for its implementation as it creates a moment of interest along Mackenzie bridge. The proponent should consider introducing decorative screening of the dog park and adding trees to soften and enhance the space.
  • There is an opportunity to introduce more pedestrian-level elements such as public art and lighting at street level to enhance the heritage building.
  • Elements such as pervious paving and green roof treatment should be considered to enhance sustainability.

Qatar Embassy (187 Boteler Street) | Formal Review | Site Plan Control Applications | Ministry of Foreign Affairs, State of Qatar; GRC Architects Inc.

Summary

  • The Panel thanked the proponent for the presentation and found the proposed design elegant and appropriate for the intended use; the changes from the previous panel session are supported, and the panel believes the project is trending in the right direction.
  • The Panel focused their commentary on addressing the streetscape and public realm while maintaining the wall condition. Suggestions were provided for the wall layout and treatment, patterning, lighting, and elements to enhance the pedestrian experience and bring Qatar's landscape to the street.

Architectural Expression

  • The Panel appreciates the double layering treatment and the patterning of the facade; the champagne coloration works well and contrasts with the lighter material at the base. But the Panel notes that the underlay might not need to be a dark tone, as there is an opportunity to have some light and shadow between the layers, which was present in the previous iteration of the project.
  • The lighting at night is appreciated as it creates a feeling of a glowing lantern, but the Panel suggests the pattern could extend to enclose the mechanical penthouse. Soft lighting should be considered to create the sense that the building is floating in the landscape.
  • It is unclear whether cladding or spandrel glass is being used for the office building, The use of a single material might make the building look less heavy.
  • The Panel feels the guardhouse appears utilitarian and believes there is an opportunity to transform the guardhouse into a pavilion of a similar architectural expression as the main building to signalize arrival at the street level.

Public Realm and Landscaping

  • Although it is understood that there is a directive for a perimeter wall, the Panel reiterates that a walled site is not neighbourly. Further studies on how the wall would be perceived from different angles at the street level are requested for staff to review.
  • There is an opportunity to enhance the wall and create some rhythm by considering different materials such as masonry combined with metal cladding and taking cues from the building to create a patterned, more decorative tie in with the overall building's design.
  • The Panel notes the dark masonry wall is pixelated, and the change of colour on either side of the guardhouse accentuates its presence. The proponent should consider softening the perimeter wall with course brick and the use of lighter tones and textures representing Qatar's architecture.
  • As an opportunity to have a unique piece of Qatar in Ottawa, a segment of the wall could be utilized to tell a story represented through artwork.
  • The Panel suggests pulling back the eastern perimeter fence line to give some space back to the public realm. The east wall could be more fluid and have a curvilinear form that echoes the building and can create a softer transition.
  • The Panel recommends introducing landscape elements from the Canadian Shield to complement the Arabic peninsula and recall a more arid landscape. For example, a tundra garden, sand, and rock outcroppings would create a patterned landscape for a more dramatic entrance along Boteler Street.
  • Although the simplicity of the interior landscape is beautiful, there are opportunities to create pathways that have a subtle gradient or interlacing character to invite people to walk into the larger landscape of the site.
  • There is an opportunity to extend the lighting beyond the building and inner walled gardens into the trees and plantings of the public realm.

March 4, 2022

3484 INNES ROAD, 240 & 270 LAMARCHE AVENUE | Formal Review | Zoning By-law Amendment, Site Plan Control Application and Plan of Subdivision | Groupe Lépine; Fotenn Planning + Design; NEUF Architect(e)s; NOVATECH

Summary

  • The Panel thanked the proponent for the presentation; the development's illustrations within the block's context are appreciated.
  • The Panel generally supports the walkway system connecting the park to Lamarche Avenue, but there are concerns with the development's transition to its surroundings. From an Urban Design perspective, further improvements to the public realm for a better east-west connection and the reorientation of Building C to animate the entire edge of the site are needed.

Site Plan

  • The Panel questions the master plan layout given the development's superblock appearance and suburban feel; more studies are needed to understand the overall plan, the site's connectivity and the relationship to the greater context and future development. The proponent should consider establishing a tertiary plan to create a more urban development with complete streets and pedestrian connections.
  • The Panel questions the suitability of low-density development on Innes Road and Lamarche Avenue as the area has the potential for increased intensification.
  • The proponent should consider situating two buildings west of the proposed looped road to create three entry points from Lamarche Avenue for better access.
  • There are considerable concerns with the parking layout on Building B as it creates a separation between the building and Françoise crescent. The Panel recommends removing the parking fronting Building B and relocating the ramp under the building to improve circulation and introduce more greenery.
  • The Panel is concerned with impact of the proposed on the neighbourhood to the south. The proponent should consider introducing shallow lots with row houses to blend with the existing residential development and using the park as a buffer between the low-rise and mid-rise buildings.

Public Realm and Landscape

  • The proposed public realm is appreciated, but the Panel believes the quality of the pedestrian connections would be improved by introducing a more robust landscape including double rows of trees, hedges and vegetation buffers to increase privacy between the path users and the private outdoor amenity areas and to the adjacent neighbourhood.
  • The Panel believes the park's current location makes it difficult to access and hinders its full potential to become a focal point for the community. The proponent should consider relocating the park to face Lamarche Avenue.
  • The Panel recommends reorienting Building C to align with Lamarche Avenue, increasing the base height to two storeys, and introducing commercial uses to create a street wall condition and pedestrianize the street.

Materiality

  • The Panel appreciates the focus on masonry but notes there is an opportunity for the development to tie in with the existing neighbourhood by introducing brick coursing in a contracting colour.
  • The Panel does not support the ornate New Orleans inspired balconies. Given that Ottawa's climate differs from New Orleans, it is unclear how the structure will be executed on the façade and whether the metal frame will perform as expected.

Sustainability

  • The Panel believes there is an opportunity to improve performance of the site by integrating stormwater management and introducing more greenery to minimize the heat island effect and provide wind protection. The proponent should also consider district energy for the whole site and zero impact development.

325, 327 & 333 MONTREAL ROAD, 334 MONTFORD STREET & 273 STE. ANNE AVENUE | Formal Review | Site Plan Control Application | The Salvation Army; Hobin Architecture; Fotenn Planning + Design; Projet | Paysage; Security Through Safe Design Inc.

Summary

  • The Panel appreciates the changes made to the proposal, including lowering the west wing. The treatment of the Salvation Army store will bring a positive presence to Montreal Road. The Panel understands that the project is urgently needed, and the work with outreach groups to develop a program that provides facilities for those in need while being sensitive to the residential community is commendable.
  • The Panel supports the overall architectural expression, materiality, massing, and the project's aspirations. The Panel expressed some concerns and suggestions regarding the massing of the central volume and its impact on the internal lower courtyard, the treatment of the woonerf and loading area, and the staff parking configuration.

Architectural Expression and Materiality

  • The Panel appreciates the use of colour lining the window openings and the use of wood on the east block is subtle but impactful at the same time.
  • The height reduction and north-south orientation of the buildings respond well to the residential context.
  • The Panel notes the four-storey square volume for the community space has an introspect quality, is too large in scale, casts a shadow on the sunken garden, and the use of dark-coloured cladding material seems sombre and might not age well and fade over time. The proponent should consider a lower volume have warmer and brighter colours to evoke a sense of tranquillity and a place to gather.

Public Realm

  • The Panel appreciates the different types of spaces provided. It is evident that planting, buffering, and layering have been considered. But the Panel is concerned that cars would take over the woonerf and plaza. Ideally, the plaza should be a public space for pedestrians.
  • The proponent should consider creating a dedicated pedestrian route that would hug the west side of the thrift store and provide dedicated pedestrian access from Montreal Road. Additionally, parking within the loading area should be explored. Removing the two parking spaces at the corner of the parking area and replacing them with a planting bed will add greenery and help change the perception that the forecourt is a primarily dedicated to vehicle parking.
  • The Panel believes the concrete retaining wall adjacent to the entrance walkway separates the plaza from the woonerf. The proponent should consider using a more visually porous enclosure material. The proponent should also consider extending the same paving materials as the woonerf onto the walkway that extends to the centre's entrance to increase porosity and unify the entrance with the woonerf.

Site Plan

  • The Panel recommends switching the parking spaces and the drive aisle of the staff parking spaces to have the parking face the proposed building in order to minimize headlights flashing onto the residential neighbourhood at the rear.
  • The use of evergreens to screen the loading area is appreciated, but the buffer appears too thin on the site plan. The proponent should strengthen the buffer to have a more robust screening of the loading dock from the surrounding properties and the street.

Sustainability

  • A vegetation growth strategy for the trees and seasonality should be considered to anticipate how the site landscape will knit into the neighbourhood over time.

February 4, 2022

2025 Othello Avenue | Formal Review | Official Plan and Zoning By-law Amendment | Osgoode Properties; rla/architecture; FOTENN Planning + Design

Summary

  • The Panel thanked the proponent for a thorough presentation; the completeness of the submission package and the general moves presented are appreciated.
  • The overall massing and urban design intent of the proposal along St. Laurent Boulevard are supported as they reinforces the streetscape. The building's setback from the residential neighbourhood on Othello Avenue is also appreciated.
  • The Panel provided recommendations for the podium treatment at the St. Laurent Boulevard and Pleasant Park Road intersection, the building's transition to the low-rise neighbourhood and pedestrian realm and site configuration.

Massing

  • The Panel believes that the 18-storey tower at Pleasant Park Road and St Laurent Boulevard. is too close and tall for that corner. The proponent should study the 45-degree angle to ensure there is an acceptable transition to the low-rise neighbourhood. A street wall building of 6 to 8 storeys at the intersection would be more appropriate than a lower podium and tower configuration.
  • The Panel recommends the proponent contextualize the proposal by studying the evolution of St Laurent Boulevard including the rhythm, scale and placement of future towers. Given the 40-metre right of way, a 6 to 8 Storey podium in some areas would create a much more robust public realm.
  • The Panel notes the St. Laurent Boulevard streetscape is evolving with commercial and residential uses. The proponent should consider locating more commercial uses at the north end of the site and integrating residential uses at the south.

Site Plan and Public Realm

  • The Panel believes the overall site plan needs a stronger pedestrian realm connection to the park and neighbourhood. There is an opportunity to enhance pedestrian connectivity by introducing a double row of trees along the sidewalk on Othello Avenue to create a strong and purposeful connection between Pleasant Park Road and the proposed public park.
  • A robust overall pedestrian realm strategy should be considered as the site intensifies over time.
  • The Panel appreciates the urban design aspirations of the project and believes the streetscape experience should be strengthened by introducing commercial uses at the corner of St. Laurent Boulevard and Pleasant Park Road and improving the street wall condition on St. Laurent.
  • The Panel recommends shifting the 27-storey building further north to create a stronger mid-block connection between St. Laurent Boulevard and Othello Avenue and to provide an opportunity for a courtyard on the north side of the site.
  • The Panel also recommends shifting the 18-storey building slightly north, extending the L-shape element and relocating the drive aisle access north of the building to create a strong pedestrian connection through the 9-storey buildings to provide better access to the proposed park.
  • The Panel believes the site would benefit from having a consolidated entrance to the underground parking to create well-defined sidewalks and green spaces and more integrated amenity spaces.
  • The site's connectivity could be improved.

Sustainability

  • The Panel appreciates the comprehensive sustainability statement and recognizes that sustainability issues can be addressed as the development evolves.

3996 Innes Road | Formal Review | Site Plan Control Application | Ammar A. Aldu; Pierre Tabet architecte; J.L. Richards & Associates Limited; Ruhland & Associates Ltd.; ADAD Inc.

Summary

  • The Panel thanked the proponent for the presentation, the building’s design is elegant, and the attention to detail is appreciated. The Panel supports the material choices and the building’s overall look and feel. The ground floor treatment requires further study, as the material on the elevation makes the base appear dark and squat.
  • The Panel is concerned with the proposed site plan. The building location creates a very tight set back to the east lot line. The exterior amenity spaces are isolated at the rear of the property and not easily accessed. The overall consensus is that the orientation of the building should be rotated to align with the street creating a stronger street wall condition.
  • Should the current site configuration remain, the Panel believes more consideration should be given to the building’s entrance, its adjacency to the proposed parking and its proximity to the adjacent lot.

Site Plan

  • The overall look and feel of the building are appreciated, but the building’s proximity to the lot line is a concern, given that it will affect the development potential of the adjacent site. Should the massing remain the same, the Panel recommends shifting the building to maintain a minimum of 5.5-metre separation distance to the lot line.
  • The Panel believes the alternative massing fronting on the street is more appropriate from an urban design perspective as the building would conceal the parking from Innes Road. The building could be configured in an L or T shape to help alleviate proximity concerns.
  • The ground floor height should be increased to alleviate the squat appearance.
  • A stronger connection should be created to the rear of the property to improve access to the amenity area.
  • The Panel appreciates the building’s architectural expression; however, the building has a commercial appearance. This could be improved by celebrating the residential entrance and increasing its visual presence from the street.
  • The tightness of the site and its current layout create a perimeter sidewalk with limited access. The proponent should consider reducing the asphalt and the number of parking spots, in order to create a wider walkway connection from the street to the building entrance.

Landscape

  • The Panel has strong concerns with the location of the amenity areas as they are very constrained and difficult to access. The efforts to maintain trees are appreciated, but the proposed ramp and basement construction will impact the survival of those trees. The Panel recommends greening the site as much as possible, introducing permeable paving to improve site drainage, and identifying snow storage areas.
  • There is an opportunity to widen the sidewalk on Innes Road and provide a more comfortable pedestrian environment. The proponent should also consider the landscape treatment typical of a broader street cross section, with more significant setbacks, and introduce more planting and landscaping.

Materiality

  • The Panel believes the dark base treatment feels unwelcome and gives the impression of a squat ground floor. The proponent should consider introducing different materials to break up the glass façade.
  • The Panel suggests, if permissible, increasing the building height to allow for an increased ground floor height.
  • The Panel considers the building to be nicely articulated, with a three-storey light volume and dark material at the top. There is an opportunity to emphasize the residential character of the building by introducing trellises and a rooftop treatment that supports the projects sustainability measures.

797 Richmond Road | Formal Review | Zoning By-law Amendment and Site Plan Control Application | Joe Tallis; Chmiel Architects Incorporated; James B. Lennox & Associates Inc.; Ainley Group

Summary

  • The Panel thanked the proponent for the presentation and expressed support for the proposal. The scale of the building is appropriate for the neighbourhood context and an important example of a building typology suitable for a transit node in an evolving context.
  • The Panel expressed concern with the proximity of the balconies to the west lot line as they will affect the developability of the adjacent lot. From a public realm perspective, the Panel supports the removal of the layby parking to maintain the public realm clear of vehicles. From an architectural perspective, the street façade needs to be simplified; the ground floor condition should be revised to improve its relationship with the street.

Massing

  • The Panel is concerned with the building’s proximity to the lot line, given the potential development of the adjacent lot. The proponent should explore an alternative to alleviate that condition or seek a limiting distance agreement with the adjoining property owner to ensure comfort for the units in perpetuity.
  • The proponent should consider a four-storey podium with a more slender top to better integrate the building with the context and create a mainstreet condition.

Architectural Expression

  • The Panel recommends that the front façade be simplified, and the strong contrast approach should be reconsidered. The Panel believes the black volume above the ground floor does not promote the urban sidewalk experience, as the ground floor appears squat and the two dark volumes on the upper floors weigh the façade down. The proponent should take cues from the west elevation, which shows a more subtle articulation and elegant treatment, with contrasting black panels threading behind the white frame.
  • The Panel recommends a lighter treatment for the upper two floors, maintaining the four-storey setback and not extending the upper volume forward, in order to maintain the setback from the street edge.

Public Realm

  • The Panel does not support the layby parking.
  • The proponent should consider the public realm and streetscape across the street when designing the pedestrian realm, in order to understand pedestrian movement and anticipate where people would cross the street.
  • It was suggested to grade down to the parking garage, to avoid a tight turn radius at the rear.

Sustainability

  • The Panel appreciates the sustainability goals and notes there is an opportunity to introduce permeable pavers, green roofs and trellises to soften the urban condition and reduce the heat island effect, which directly impacts the survivability of the trees.

1400 Bank Street | Formal Review | Official Plan and Zoning By-law Amendment | Figurr c/o iLiving Homes Corporation; Figurr Architects Collective

Summary

  • The Panel appreciates the skillful architecture and look and feel of the building; however, there are concerns with the building's proximity to the adjacent site and the podium height.
  • The Panel believes the biggest challenge is that the proposal deviates from the planned context and that more studies are required to justify the height increase.

Context

  • The Panel believes the development significantly deviates from the policy. Further studies and massing articulation on both sides of the intersection are needed to justify the increase in height and density. The consensus is that this intersection could be a minor secondary node instead of a major node.

Scale and Massing

  • The Panel appreciates the architectural resolution and material palette. The building is handsome, but there are concerns with the appropriateness of a high-rise building in this location. Its compact site, loading requirements and proximity to the lot line will affect the adjacent building's livability. A skillful and well-thought-out transition is needed to provide more breathing room to the adjacent building. Reducing the mass, floorplate, and height will benefit the project.
  • More studies are required to understand the building's relationship to the street to determine how a podium can unify and contribute to the area. From an urban design perspective, the proposed street wall height combined with the proposed red brick treatment gives the impression of a low street wall.
  • The proponent should consider expanding some units into the podium to create a higher street wall condition and take cues from the building to the north to determine a podium height that is more in keeping with the retail experience on Bank Street. A four-storey podium or higher would fit in the context, align better with the built form of the street, and potentially reduce the building's height.

Public Realm

  • The Panel notes the importance of understanding and studying how the building would contribute to the public realm improvement strategy. The Panel cautions that the retaining wall and raised planters will hinder public access to retail as access is limited to specific sections along the sidewalk. The Panel recommends introducing trees at grade in place of planters, as they typically have a short life span.
  • There is an opportunity to provide more vegetation and soften the condition at the rear of the site to reduce the impact of this development on the adjacent lot.

Sustainability

  • The Panel encourages the proponent to go above and beyond the sustainability measures, provide green roof terraces for stormwater management, and minimize the heat island effect.

January 7, 2022

322 Waverley Street | Formal Review | Official Plan and Zoning By-law Amendment Application | Serco Realty Management; Chmiel Architects; Fotenn Planning + Design

John Stewart has declared a conflict of interest and has recused himself from commenting on this file.

Summary

  • The Panel recognizes the challenges presented given the heritage component and the surrounding context and believes the retention of the heritage building could create some issues, particularly the building's relationship to the public realm, due to the raised ground floor.
  • The Panel expressed concerns with the building's mass and scale, architectural treatment of the upper floor, and the amenity area's functionality at the rear.

Heritage

  • The Panel believes dismantling and reconstructing the heritage component and integrating it with the building's façade could hinder the development and create unnecessary constraints, such as the reduction of the side yard elevating the ground floor of the building, that necessitates the introduction of an accessibility ramp at the front.
  • The Panel suggests the proponent explore dismantling and integrating the heritage building in a more contemporary manner by repurposing the building materials to allow for a podium and base design that responds to the context of the area.
  • The Panel notes that replicating the canopy at the former main entrance does not provide any functionality and could be represented differently. The panel does not feel that the retention of the canopy is necessary (as it is not representing the degree of permanence of the brick structure).

Massing

  • The Panel believes the building's mass is too dense for the site, and the building's height and proportions should be reconfigured. A three-storey mass with a step back at the fourth storey would be more appropriate and respond better to the adjacent context.
  • From an urban design perspective, the building should align with the adjacent buildings to preserve the existing front yard setback and create a consistent streetscape.
  • The Panel recommends the proponent revise the south-facing suites on the upper level and relocate the primary windows oriented towards the rear yard.

Public Realm and Landscape

  • The Panel believes the building's relationship to the public realm needs improvement. The proponent should consider removing the ramp as it is challenging to maintain during winter and instead create a garden edge to frame the walkway, minimizing the curb cut to substantially reduce the amount of hardscape.
  • The Panel recommends the proponent relocate the bicycle storage to the basement as the proposed shed constrains the usability of the amenity area. Rather the Panel recommends converting the shed into an open-air structure such as a gazebo for residents’ use. It is also recommended to preserve the rear yard trees as much as possible to improve the building's interface with the adjacent rear yard.

Materiality

  • The Panel notes the architectural expression, particularly the solid elements, lintels, and sills above the glass expression, weigh down the building and require further exploration.
  • The proponent is encouraged to explore a more subtle contemporary architectural expression and to use a different fenestration pattern, as the square expression does not resonate well with the rest of the building or the immediate adjacent neighbourhood context.
  • The proponent should consider a picket rail guard on the balconies instead of a glass railing to better relate to the finer grain scale of the details of the adjacent single family heritage houses.
  • Further studies on the brick coursing and detailing of other heritage buildings in the area are needed to apply a finer grain of detailing to the building.

Sustainability

  • The Panel believes the project is an excellent example of implementing passive house initiatives.

1546 Scott Street | Formal Review | Zoning By-law Amendment Application | Reid's Heritage Properties; IBI Group; Tregebov Cogan Architecture

Summary

  • The Panel thanked the proponent for their presentation; the proposed floorplate allows for suitable size units and creates a sleek, elegant building that fits well with the buildings on Tunney's Pasture.
  • The Panel supports the overall building's design and vision for the site and pavilion on Scott Street, but the Panel has concerns with the amount of the front façade dedicated to vehicles and the quality of the north-south pedestrian connection, given that a relationship between the neighbourhood to the south and Scott Street is essential.

Context

  • The long-term vision for the neighbourhood and the planned context of the area should be considered. The proponent should indicate how the building would align and integrate with institutional, residential and commercial uses cohesively.
  • The Panel believes it is vital that the project be connected to the neighbourhood to the south as the Parkdale Market, and Wellington Street provide amenities for residents. A north-south pedestrian connection would permit residents to walk to those areas and knit the development better with the surrounding context.

Architectural Expression

  • The Panel appreciates the addition of a pavilion, the play of architectural expression in the elevations, and the central element capping the top.
  • The pavilion would read more strongly if the building had a 3-4 storey base, and the tower was stepped back from the podium. This would emphasize the projection of the pavilion and improve the scale relationship between it and the street wall of the building.
  • The Panel recommends further refinements to the canopy as it appears imposing.

Landscape

  • The Panel notes that the current landscape treatment does not support the long-term vision of wider sidewalks on Scott Street. The proponent should study how the building landscape integrates with the street, given that Scott Street is the main artery.
  • The Panel notes the area is in flux given the future redevelopment of Tunney's Pasture and the LRT, which provides an opportunity to study the landscape of the neighbourhood, understand pedestrian movement and the future of Scott Street. The proponent should consider pedestrian connections, the building's relationship to the lot line, and how the building meets the street.

Pedestrian Circulation

  • The shared right of way is appreciated, but the Panel believes further improvements are needed. The proponent should consider removing the number of surface parking spaces and introducing a tandem parking configuration to facilitate drop off, using pavers instead of asphalt for the turning radius area, implementing skylights to create a more welcoming space and a bollard system with flush curbs to humanize the space.
  • There was a suggestion to explore other access points from the back or side of the site and to create a north-south pedestrian connection to provide safe passage.

Materiality

  • The Panel considers the front façade to be reminiscent of commercial buildings with an architectural vocabulary of the 70s and 80s and believes there are some challenges in translating the stone material into a more residential context.
  • The Panel notes that a high degree of architectural excellence is required. The details will need to be well conceived, and the building well crafted to achieve the ephemeral qualities shown in the rendering.
  • The proponent should ensure the two-storey panel expression of the window wall system is well designed and implemented to achieve the desired effect. With this in mind, consider simplifying this expression.
  • The Panel appreciates the effect of the balconies being recessed, contributing to the sleekness of the tower.

Sustainability

  • The proponent should consider sustainability measures beyond those implemented on a TOD site and focus on the long-term benefits of doing so.

1186 - 1194 Wellington Street West | Formal Review | Official Plan and Zoning By-law Amendment Application | Minto Communities Canada; DIALOG; Fotenn Planning + Design

Summary

  • The Panel thanked the proponent for their presentation. The positive changes made to the POPS and woonerf, the sculpting of the tower and the podium articulation on Wellington Street, and the strengthening of the theatre component are supported.
  • The Panel appreciates the tower's reduction, but concerns remain regarding the replicability of the development. The consensus is that a 6-storey podium would be more suitable for the site.
  • There is an opportunity to further articulate the façade on Parkdale Avenue and revisit the podium above the heritage building.

Scale

  • The Panel remains concerned with the tower component and the issue of replicability. There are two 9-storey buildings on the corner of Parkdale Avenue and Wellington Street, and the concern is that adding a 16-storey building on that corner could be overwhelming from a pedestrian and street view perspective.
  • The Panel believes that more studies, perspectives of the street and intersection and street elevations, illustrating the tower in a high-rise context, are required to evaluate the impact of the proposed building and the implications of setting a precedent.
  • Further analysis is needed to support the proposed massing; a 9-storey podium is overwhelming at the pedestrian eye level; sky views and shadows may cause issues at 9-storeys. The consensus is that a 6-storey podium would be more appropriate. The Panel recommends that the proponent explore a 6-storey podium with a setback at the seventh storey and above.
  • The building's proximity to the church remains a concern; it was suggested to provide a further setback or relocate the tower closer to the street to minimize its impact on the church.

Architectural Expression

  • The introduction of masonry on Wellington Street is successful, and the co-planar nature of the tower and podium element at the POPS corner improve the proportions of the massing.
  • The Panel believes the stepping down of the façade on Parkdale Avenue is a positive move, but the slight setback and articulation between the base and the tower treatment should be more prominent and be treated with the same importance as the façade on Wellington Street.
  • The horizontal elements make the building seem out of context and give the building’s mass an elongated appearance. The Panel recommends the proponent introduce a vertical pattern to improve this condition.
  • The solid guard above the ground floor expression and the inset balconies are appreciated.

Heritage

  • The changes to preserve the theatre marquee expression are appreciated, but the Panel believes the three-storey element above diminishes the heritage component. The Panel recommends the proponent reconsider removing the three-storey expression above the heritage component.

Materiality

  • The Panel notes the sleekness of the building might not be contextually appropriate due to the variety of materials found in the neighbourhood. The Panel recommends that the proponent take cues from the area's materials when selecting masonry for the building.
  • The planar elements on the north and south façade of the podium and the east and west façades of the tower are appreciated, but a high level of architectural detail will be required to achieve the crisp edges of the materials, given that the renderings show the proposed brick to be co-planar.
  • The Panel appreciates the progress made on the window wall system, illustrating mullions to reflect a more realistic appearance.

Public Realm

  • The changes made to the building's mass to expand the POPS are appreciated, but the Panel urges the proponent to maintain the POPS as a publicly accessible space and not be an extension to the proposed retail.
  • The Panel appreciates the commercial uses and amenity spaces introduced to ensure the woonerf is animated.

Sustainability

  • The development provides an excellent opportunity to implement LID measures and sustainable energy initiatives and to support active transportation.

Rochester Heights (818 Gladstone Avenue) | Formal Review | Site Plan Control Application | Ottawa Community Housing; Propriétés ARRIV Properties; Hobin Architecture; Fotenn Planning + Design; CSW Landscape Architects

Summary

  • The Panel thanked the proponent for the presentation; the comprehensive package and various views and perspectives are appreciated.
  • The Panel supports the overall massing distribution and architectural expression and notes that the proposal is an exemplary project with the preservation of trees, passive housing initiatives and the investment and understanding of the value of architectural excellence.

Site Plan

  • The Panel appreciates the general layout of the block and the generous open space, but the Panel believes the future phases of the development should be considered to understand how the site fits within the evolving neighbourhood fabric, given that there is the potential to align the servicing aisle with Arlington Street.
  • It was suggested to reorient drive aisles to reduce the number of curb cuts on Booth Street.
  • The Panel recommends setting back Building A further to widen the sidewalk to enhance and preserve the view of St. Anthony of Padua Church as people travel west on Gladstone Avenue.
  • The Panel would prefer less parking on-site; the proponent should consider on-street parking for visitors and remove on-site visitor parking to utilize the space for a courtyard.

Accessibility and Connectivity

  • The Panel believes accessibility to the site to be paramount. Stairs should be paired with ramps to improve accessibility, and the grade differential on Gladstone Avenue should be minimized.
  • The proponent should consider splitting the slab at grade, increasing the floor to ceiling height or introducing sloped floors on the parking garage of Buildings A and B.
  • The use of brick cladding or garden walls for a more graceful transition should be considered, to address the grade change and improve the public realm on Gladstone Avenue.
  • There is an opportunity for a through lobby connection between the internal street and Rochester in Building B.
  • The Panel supports and appreciates that the pedestrian circulation and connectivity expand beyond the site.

Public Realm

  • The Panel recommends further buffering of the stacked townhouses from the park and the introduction of a buffer between the townhomes and future development phases.
  • The proponent should consider introducing commercial uses facing Piazza Dante Park, an important focal point for the community, to animate and activate the Piazza.
  • The Panel believes the two-tier approach to the public realm on Gladstone Avenue should be reconsidered as the buffers may reduce the ability to provide wider sidewalks.
  • It was suggested to relocate lobby entrances on public realm frontages to provide additional animation.

Architectural Expression and Materiality

  • The Panel notes the subtle architectural moves are well balanced and proportioned and the use of colour and masonry are appreciated.

Sustainability

  • Sustainability measures such as integrating district energy on-site and in future phases of the development should be considered as well as EV charging stations, increased vegetation at street level and rooftop solar farm, to meet sustainability goals.

The City’s Design Review Panel meets the first Thursday of every month at City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue West, Ottawa. Recommendations from the Formal Design Review are provided here.